The Dinner Menu at Cocina de Barrio in the Midway

by on January 12, 2022 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

Restaurant Review

Infladita de Barbacoa

Cocina de Barrio
3924 West Point Loma Blvd
San Diego, CA 92110

By Judi Curry

Back in mid-December around the time of my friend Steve’s birthday, the restaurant I wanted to take him to had no tables available for the time we needed.  I had been to Cocina de Barrio with three others a couple months earlier, but it was for lunch, and because that menu was very different than most Mexican restaurants, I was curious as to what their dinner menu might be like.  There was no problem getting reservations and I did call the restaurant directly.

If I thought that the lunch menu was different, I should have been prepared for the dinner menu. It definitely is not for the “gringo,” because the common items on most Mexican menus do not appear on this menu.  Even the drink menu is different!

The Tequila menu offers 5 different kinds of tequila – Blanco, Reposado, Cristalino, Anejo and extra Anejo.  The restaurant is known for the Mezcal drinks, of which three are listed – Joven, Reposado, and Anejo.   And let me tell you – they are not inexpensive.  Additionally there are Mezcal Craft Cocktails, Tequila Craft Cocktails, Signature Craft Cocktails, and just plain Barrio Margaritas, of which Steve and I had a Strawberry Blanco Margarita.  (It was $11 but very, very good.)

There are also 5 white wines and 5 red wines listed and if that isn’t enough they have 19 craft beers on tap and 8 bottled beers.  Not to cater only to the drinking person, there are several non-alcoholic beers listed.  And all of the above are listed on the back page of the menu.

Ceviche de Roblo

The dinner menu, in my opinion, is somewhat limited.  There are Crudos & Mas – which consisted of 6 appetizers that were not plant based, but there were 3 plant based items listed under that heading. Steve and I decided to split an order of Ceviche De Robalo, which was prickly pear and lime cured striped bass, red onion, cucumber, avocado,  chile fresno and cilantro.  The cost was $15 and it was well worth the cost.

Many years ago I won a contest for my ceviche recipe so I am very critical of other ceviche recipes.  But this one was very good and the waitress warned us that the red chili’s were very spicy. A good warning, because they were – according to Steve!

The next thing on the menu was Antojitos, which are also appetizers. There were 6 listed, plus 3 plant based offerings.  Once again we decided to split two orders and try the Infladita de Barbacoa – a puffed blue corn tortilla/ beef barbacoa, aquate salsa, red onion, cilantro and recaudo. It was one of the less pricey items on the menu and was only $10.  It, too, was very good, but very small.  If it was to be ordered for a meal, it would not be filling.  I do not think I’d order it again, even though the meat was tender and tasty.

We decided to try one of their plant based items and chose the Quesadillas de Portobello. It consisted of two hand pressed corn tortillas, portobello huitlacoche, corn, cashew cheese and mole coloradito.  It was $15.  And it was delicious.  I am not a great fan of mole, but I would order this again.  Everything on the plate was delicious and the cashew cheese was a new one for me. It was tasty.

Quesadillas de Portobello

By the time we had the three items, plus the margarita, we were full and did not order from the last section of the menu – the Platillos Fuertes.  There are seven items listed plus 3 plant based items. They ranged in price from $14 for the Ensalada de Barrio to $32 for the Chamorro de Borrego (lamb shank).  Prices seemed a little high to me, but every restaurant has had to raise their prices because of financial situation in the world, so I would not fault them for that.  It should be mentioned that there is a limited kids menu for $10; and they have a message on their menu that states that they are not a Gluten-Free facility.

Since it was Steve’s birthday, and the restaurant was aware of that, we decided to order dessert. My assumption – shame on me – was that they would comp it because it was his birthday. I was wrong.  There is no dessert menu, per se, but the waitress told us about the 6 items that were offered.  We decided to try the Pastel de Elote – basically corn cake with ice cream, strawberries and blueberries.  She said it was her favorite.  And we did enjoy it.  The taste of the corn was evident, but I do not think I would order it again.  I prefer Flan or Creme Brulee – both that were on the menu. The cost of our dessert was $9.

Pastel de Elote. All photos by Judi Curry

Over all, Steve and I were pleased with our meal.  Everything tasted good; the presentations were delightful; the service was wonderful, and not just our server was helpful, but everyone working in the dining room came over to see how things were and if they could be of any help.

As good as it was it is not for the gringo unless that gringo is ready to explore new items. There is almost something for everyone – fish, chicken, beef, lamb, vegan, etc.  Just be prepared that it is not your traditional Mexican restaurant.  Our total bill, without the tip was $64.65, which in actuality is not bad for three appetizers, one dessert and one drink.  Maybe we’ll see you there on our next visit.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

judith curry January 12, 2022 at 2:21 pm

Steve said he is ready to go back and try something from the main dinner menu!


Frank Gormlie January 12, 2022 at 2:28 pm

Great! Just don’t write about it, haha.


JM January 15, 2022 at 8:38 am

This place is so damn good. Best Aguachile in the area in my opinion. Support this joint!


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